Peter Lehmann Botrytis Semillon (half-bottle) 2005
Color: Delicate pale gold.
Bouquet: Classical aromas of lime marmalade, dried pear and a hint of apricot kernel.
Palate: Stylishly luscious with delicious weight on the middle palate. It has superb Semillon fruit counterbalanced by refreshing racy acidity so it finishes with a delightful clean complexity.
Cellaring: Delicious to drink now, but with the screw cap closure can be confidently cellared for 20 plus years.
Enjoy with: Botrytis Semillon is naturally thought of as a dessert wine. Serve it with cheese, particularly soft, ripe cheeses and good blue cheese accompanied by fresh fruit.
Historically and presently the most important wine-producing region of Australia, the Barossa Valley is set in South Australia, where more than half of the country’s wine is made. Because the climate is very hot and dry, vineyard managers work diligently to ensure grapes reach the perfect levels of phenolic ripeness.
The intense heat is ideal for plush, bold reds, particularly Shiraz on its own or Rhône Blends featuring Shiraz, Grenache, and Mourvèdre. Often Shiraz and Cabernet partner up for plump and powerful reds. While much less prevalent, light-skinned varieties such as Riesling, Viognier or Semillon produce vibrant Barossa Valley whites.
Most of Australia’s largest wine producers are based here and Shiraz plantings date back as far as the 1850s or before. Many of them are dry farmed and bush trained, still offering less than one ton per acre of inky, intense, purple juice.
Apart from the classics, we find many regional gems of different styles.
Late harvest wines are probably the easiest to understand. Grapes are picked so late that the sugars build up and residual sugar remains after the fermentation process. Ice wine, a style founded in Germany and there referred to as eiswein, is an extreme late harvest wine, produced from grapes frozen on the vine, and pressed while still frozen, resulting in a higher concentration of sugar. It is becoming a specialty of Canada as well, where it takes on the English name of ice wine.
Vin Santo, literally “holy wine,” is a Tuscan sweet wine made from drying the local white grapes Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia in the winery and not pressing until somewhere between November and March.